Fallow deer killed jumping a fence in The South Downs National Park
This really is a horrible sight. This is what happens when a deer traps a leg between the top two wires of a stock fence. It leads to the slow, painful and agonising death of the deer. It’s upsetting to see – especially when (like this) it happens twice in a week. But worst of all, it’s totally avoidable. Let me explain why.
Continue reading “Deer with leg trapped in top of barbed wire fence”
Fog all day, but not on The South Downs
This foggy view isn’t unusual over Midhurst and the Rother Valley. It’s a temperature inversion in the atmosphere. As air rises it normally gets colder, but if the temperature is only a couple of °C and there’s no breeze and clear skies, the reverse can happen and the air nearest to the ground gets stuck there – trapped under a layer of warmer air above it.
Continue reading “Fog on the Rother”
Here’s a photo from early morning on 1st September 2018… one of those perfect Autumn mornings when the mist settles under the Downs, the trees are turning and there’s a nip in the air.
Got to love Autumn… view this image at full size on Flickr.
We were contacted by reader of the Bepton Down blog who asked about a helicopter crash when he was a schoolboy. “Does anyone remember the helicopter that crashed on Bepton Down in the mid 1960s? I was a boarder at Midhurst Grammar School at the time and went to see the crashed remains up there on the hillside a couple of days after it happened.”
Richard Stephenson would like to know if anyone can remember any more details about this tragic accident? Please get in touch if you have any memories or information about the crash so we can pass them on to Richard and share with others. At the front of my mind are the two crew lost their lives that day – it would be good to remember these men as part of the history of Bepton Down.
Continue reading “Helicopter Crash on Bepton Down”
60 years of decline at Bepton Down SSSI
Bepton Down is 14 hectares of unique chalk grassland on the north face of the South Downs overlooking Bepton. It’s a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and an area of national importance.
Continue reading “Poor management of Bepton Down SSSI on The South Downs”
Bepton Down SSSI should be a unique area of chalk downland in West Sussex – but it isn’t.
Bepton Down is just below The South Downs Way on a north facing slope with stunning views towards Midhurst and beyond. It should be 14 hectares of extraordinary habitat, home to protected species of plants and grasses – and one of the few remaining areas of chalk downland in West Sussex.
Even though Bepton Down has an SSSI status it has been neglected and it is now reverting to a mixture of scrub, wasteland and coarse vegetation. The steady decline of this SSSI has been overseen by Cowdray Estate and regulated by Natural England.
Please help me raise awareness about the decline of Bepton Down by sharing this article.
Continue reading “Decline of an SSSI on the South Downs”
South Downs Bee Orchid
How about this for a stunning little orchid!? When I see British wild flowers like this I marvel at how wonderful nature can be. Goodness knows how or why this little flower evolved to look like a bee, but that’s only half of the mystery of the bee orchid.
Continue reading “Bee Orchid on Bepton Down”
Pyramidal orchids on an evening in June
Thursday evening is my favourite time of the week.
Continue reading “Watching the sun go down”
A big white white orchid that looks like a hyacinth!
The start of the season saw a few setbacks with very few Early Purple Orchids or Cowslips. But things have improved a little and there are now lots of Common Spotted Orchids, Twayblades and these lovely Greater Butterfly Orchids.
Continue reading “Greater Butterfly Orchid on Bepton Down”
Bepton Down Orchids
I’ve written before about the plight of Bepton Down. This year the Down has struggled. It’s an SSSI but the weather and some land management problems caused some problems for the early flowers. There were very few Cowslips and the Early Purple Orchids just didn’t show at all.
Continue reading “June Orchids on Bepton Down”